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An Afghan First



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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has been significantly reinvigorated following the arrival recently of three outstanding newsmen: Jeff Gedmin at the helm, and his colleagues, former National Review editor John O’Sullivan and Jay Tolson, who came to RFE from U.S. News and World Report.

Among other things, RFE’s Persian-language service Radio Farda played a particularly important role in bringing impartial news to Iranians in the wake of the hotly disputed June presidential elections.

Now its Afghan service has played host to the first ever Afghan Presidential debate ahead of that country’s elections on Thursday. Yesterday’s debate was moderated by RFE’s Akbar Ayazi and was broadcast by RFE’s Radio Free Afghanistan, known locally as Radio Azadi, and by Afghan state television. There are some clips here.

Meanwhile, in sad news, Marine Sgt. Bill Cahir, 40, a former Washington-based journalist and congressional staffer who joined the Marines after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 13, his unit and friends reported.



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